MORSE code experts have marked the centenary of a record-breaking radio transmission from Portland.

In March 1907 a wireless station on Portland set the distance record by contacting Gibraltar, more than 1,000 miles away.

Carol Hodges, of the South Dorset Radio Society, said despite the boom in communications, radio can still be the first or only method of contact in emergencies.

Mrs Hodges, who is also chairman of the British Young Ladies Amateur Radio Association, said: "Three of our members were caught up in the tsunami and were the first ones to make contact outside the zone.

"One lady in Thailand managed to keep operating her radio using batteries from cars.

"It is really important to keep Morse code alive because it's slowly being lost."

Mrs Hodges and other radio enthusiasts held a centenary celebration near the original Naval Coastguard station at Branscombe Hill on Portland.

She said: "1907 was the first time long-distance contact was made."

To mark the anniversary the radio society set up the channel GB1HPB - standing for Great Britain One Hundred Portland Bill - and once again made contact with Gibraltar.